What is it?
The exact cause is not known but there is a strong genetic component to this disorder as 96% of sufferers share the same gene. It is a type of chronic (long term) inflammatory arthritis with an overactive immune response (the body’s response to the production of an antigen – a substance which produces antibodies to fight infections). It mainly affects the back but also the sacrum and pelvis area and it causes it to fuse and become rigid.
Affecting men more than women, symptoms include chronic (long term) low back pain and stiffness, especially in young males aged 20-40. The pain tends to be worse at night and eases with activity.
The use of a Thoraco Lumbar Sacral Orthosis is recommended to prevent curvature or spinal deformities and to reduce severe pain. These braces may also be used for short periods of time when vertebral fractures occur.